A few weeks back, I received two emails back to back in my inbox. This is a regular occurrence of course, but both of these were promoting two different social analytics tools. One was for Instagram, the other for Pinterest. If you subscribe to news from any of the various social software programs, you’ll discover that they are quick to innovate a new way to track metrics for the latest social network. This is great if you’re already paying for a software subscription, and it’s added free of charge, but what if it’s not?
Before you pull out your company credit card to place an order for the latest social analytics software, take a second to think about what you’re going to measure. Are you going to measure the trend of new “likes” or followers? The total amount of repins that each of your new products gained when placed on a company Pinterest board? Be sure to determine what your objectives are in measuring your social efforts. It often has something to do with the value of social referrals to your website or to the value of your greater social community.
The Value of “Like” on your Website
Do you ever link to your website from your social accounts? If you have some basic website analytics software, such as Google Analytics, Adobe Omniture, or WebTrends, pull it open, and see what sorts of traffic each network has generated for your website. Do you see a big spike in your Facebook-referral traffic after hosting a big fan competition, or a decline from Twitter when you took a vacation and no one bothered to send out a tweet or two? Mark down what dates you saw spikes or dips from your social networks, and any rationale for why you think it may have happened. If you track conversions, or purchases that users make on your site, check to see if they mirror the same spikes and dips that your social traffic experienced.
Social Value from the Network
If you don’t particularly care about traffic to your website from social networks, think about how your company generates revenue from social itself. Is there an app that they use to download coupons, or make purchases right on a particular network?
If you find yourself saying “we just use that social network to build community, not generating revenue”, that notion is completely fine. But then ask yourself: Is it worth spending money on a software for a social tactic that doesn’t usually generate additional money for your company? Are there analytics tools that you can use for free to track community growth? Facebook Insights provides some great baseline metrics, and tools like Crowdbooster can give you weekly emails on how your Twitter follower count is doing.
Digging Deeper into Social Analytics
This past week, I attended an event with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) presented by Adam Singer of Google. He showed us that there are even more options than just tracking referrals from social media, you can see some of the conversations that are happening on certain networks in Google Analytics. If you haven’t checked out this option, I highly suggest that you do!
Here, not only you can tell which social networks are getting you the most traffic, but which ones are actually making you money. You can see how it compares in generating new visitors to your website, and finally, how much traffic your site generates from mobile.
If your social efforts are purely based on building community and gaining the largest number of “likes” in your industry, then certainly check out those special analytics tools geared toward particular networks. But if you want to get down to the details and tell your CEO why you should stick with social because it will make you money, then I’d definitely make sure you have Google Analytics properly configured on your site and get started analyzing some results!
Welcome to the ninth edition of The Search, a weekly recap of the articles we find most interesting from our service areas: paid search, project management, social media, web analytics, search engine optimization, email, and mobile marketing. Check back each week for the latest edition of The Search to stay on top of the latest and greatest techniques in online marketing so that you can improve your skills and better serve your clients. Enjoy!
If you’re going local in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, take a look at last week’s article from Coconut Headphones. We at Three Deep also wish to enter the pool of online marketing articles with our discussion on Google’s change to SERPs and what that means for brands.
Our top mobile marketing articles dive deep this week, focusing on customer retention and how to add a human touch to your mobile experiences. Check out the top online marketing articles for mobile marketing today.
Our email articles this week take a look at the holistic approach to email marketing, from initial sign up forms and list building, to the welcome email. Jump in with these top online marketing articles regarding email marketing today!
When you get started as a new project manager on a project, there are a few things to cover, as well as when you are working in resilient projects. Time to take a look at the top online marketing articles for project management!
Are you an avid Google Analytics fan? You will love these articles regarding customer engagement and the definition of a visit change. But, if you’re not such an avid supporter, you will enjoy the article from SEO Book arguing why you may wish to use variety of web analytics tools. Head over to these top online marketing articles surrounding web analytics for more info.
Last week I came across a great slide deck put together by InsightR consulting that compares two free web analytics tools: Google Analytics and Yahoo Web Analytics (formerly IndexTools). While we haven’t had much experience working with Yahoo! Web Analytics, the results from this study are quite intriguing, and favorable for Yahoo! in many areas.
As a GAAC consultant, this really does not change anything when it comes to our preferred choice of tools, but I do think that it proves Yahoo Web Analytics to be a true competitor in this space. Competition is good!
Continue Reading Yahoo! Web Analytics vs. Google Analytics →
As marketers, we all know that there is a fair amount of turnover throughout the dynamics of the client/agency relationship. This post series covers solutions to many common problems that may arise while inheriting a Google Analytics account.
One of the key objectives in value added Web Analytics is answering the question “what is the point of this website” and “what do we want visitors to do when they visit.” The metric we use to determine success is a conversion occurring during a site visit.
This is a pretty elementary aspect of web analytics, and a fundamental foundation for a solid analytics install… or is it? From my experience, this is often overlooked. The fact is that most web analytics installations do not have even the most basic fundamental configuration elements in place.
Continue Reading Google Analytics: Inferring Conversions with No Goals →
As marketers, we all know that there is a fair amount of turnover throughout the dynamics of the client/agency relationship. At many levels, turnovers are a part of normal agency operations.
As the web analytics industry matures and more specialists emerge in the field, I have noticed that turnover is a result of clients reaching out to specialists in order to get the most out of their data. This effect can be credited to three simultaneous events occurring in the online measurement space:
The shift in the web analytics industry from an IT function to a role in marketing.
Great video posted on the Official Google Analytics blog in early September that has some excellent insight that I feel is worth repeating on this blog. The video poses a question that may be on the top of the mind of most companies as they analyze how they should best handle web analytics for their company; should they hire a consultant/agency, or should they bring things in house?
Since Three Deep is an agency, I am sure you can understand how we feel about this topic; we think that there is a lot of value that agencies can bring to organizations that they may not be able to realize with in-house resources. This is because agencies are highly specialized and efficient in the work they provide, are often less expensive than hiring a full time resource or team of resources in house, and since agencies work across several clients, they are able to apply best practices, new techniques and spot trends across their entire portfolio of clients. Working with agencies provides a large amount of value and can often come at a reasonable price.
Continue Reading Do You Need an Agency For Web Analytics? →
We have alluded several times on this blog as to our company’s continued interest in Twitter as a listening channel. While a lot more informal and lightweight than blogs, the channel is a great way to listen to what’s going on over the web. As part of my continued Autodidacticism (I know it sounds dirty, but look it up… it means self educating), I am constantly perusing the Twitterverse to see if I can learn any interesting tidbit, technique or insights into how I can improve my skillset.
As part of my daily monitoring, I subscribe to searches for Twitter hash tags (basically words with a # before them) for several people, industries, events, etc. One of my favorite hash tags is the Web Analytics channel #measure. In addition, I love the stream provided by the newly minted #ganalytics hash tag (those of you who have been on Twitter for a while know that these are much better than the deprecated #wa and #ga tags, which were polluted by SPAM for Washington and Georgia state related tweets). These two streams keep me up to date with any new developments in these areas, and also allow for some new techniques.
Continue Reading Web Analytics Insights Found Through Twitter →
For those of you who don’t know, the GAAC program is a distinction highly coveted in the Web Analytics industry, and Three Deep is the first Twin Cities/Minnesota based company to achieve this honor, as well as the second in the Midwestern area of the United States.
We are excited to be involved in this program, as it presents our team with the opportunity to become even more engaged in the Google Analytics community. There are some true geniuses – both at Google and consultants in the GAAC program – who have worked to make Google Analytics the most widely accepted web analytics tool in the marketplace. We look forward to learning from their knowledge and expertise, and share our own experiences as well.
Our team has much to contribute and collaborate with these great innovators, and our GAAC certification will help us evangelize web analytics to the greater marketing community (both online and offline marketers can get a lot out of Google Analytics), as well as provide valuable and actionable consulting advice to our clients.
Here at Three Deep’s offices, we are always talking about our craft, whether email marketing, SEO, reporting, etc, and how to improve the service we provide our clients. We are presently in the process of building out a model for how we can best serve our clients… and also educate them on how SEO best fits into their overall marketing mix. Through much trial, continued learning, and a few hundred whiteboard sessions, we have made major inroads in establishing an equation as to where exactly SEO fits in to our clients marketing mix (the answer is everywhere).
Given all of the time that we have put into working on this equation, it’s a little surprising that we don’t have any excellent infographics to help visualize what we are working to achieve for our clients. Fortunately, there are many bright minded and artistically gifted bloggers out there who can help fill the gap. This weekend, our president Dave Woodbeck sent us the following graphic (courtesy of SEO superstar Matt McGee):
SEO Success Pyramid
You can read the full breakdown here, but the basic premise is that rather than relying on one or two tactics to simply try to “exploit” Google’s ranking algorithm, the most successful sites focus on building quality content that engages users, presents something of value, and is easily “linkable” from other sources.
Continue Reading SEO Success Pyramid – Strategic SEO →